Arizona joins multistate lawsuit to halt Obama’s executive action

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PHOENIX – Last week, as Gov. Jan Brewer winds down her final weeks in office, she authorized the state of Arizona to join a multistate lawsuit in an attempt to halt President Obama’s executive action to ignore federal immigration law and unilaterally grant amnesty to approximately five million illegal aliens.

Brewer stated, “Arizona is proud to join a coalition of states fighting to overturn President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive action. As a border state bearing the brunt of our nation’s broken immigration system – a crisis exacerbated by the president’s reckless immigration policies and refusal to enforce the law – our state and our citizens have had enough.

Noting Obama has deliberately ignored the will of the American people and exceeded his authority as clearly defined in the U.S. Constitution, Brewer stated, “Such federal overreach cannot stand. I believe that the courts should strike down this presidential fiat and uphold the fundamental principles upon which this country was built.”

jeh johnsonThe case was filed on Dec. 3 by the state of Texas in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas and initially joined by 17 states to seek declaratory and injunctive relief against the United States, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson (r) along with department heads from U.S. Customs an Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for their violations of the Take Care Clause, U.S. Constitution, Article II § 3, clause 5, and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551.

The complaint makes it clear that the lawsuit is not about immigration but rather about “the rule of law, presidential power and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.”

When the president announced on Nov. 20, 2014 he would unilaterally suspend the immigration laws as applied to upwards of four million illegal aliens in the United States, he also candidly admitted, in doing so, he unilaterally rewrote the law, when he stated, “What you’re not paying attention to is, I just took action to change the law.”

Then, in accordance with Obama’s unilateral exercise of lawmaking, Johnson issued a directive that purports to legalize the presence of approximately 40 percent of the known illegal immigrant population, affording them legal rights and benefits.

The complaint calls the unilateral suspension of the nation’s immigration laws unlawful and states only the court’s immediate intervention can protect plaintiffs from “dramatic and irreparable injuries.”

Because Johnson, who drafted the DHS directive, which purportedly creates legal rights for millions of illegal aliens and does so by rewriting immigration laws and contradicting the priorities adopted by Congress, the complaint states such a directive violates provisions in 5 U.S.C. § 706, and it is therefore unlawful in direct violation of the Take Care Clause.

The Take Care Clause requires the president to exercise his law-execution power to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

While the president has broad prosecutorial discretion when it comes to how and when to enforce laws as well as the power to pardon those who have violated the law, he does not possess the authority to dispense laws, suspend laws, authorize violations of the law or nullify a law.

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